CK’s Jacob Shepherd Valley High School Hockey League boys’ player of the year

John Decoste
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Jacob Shepherd of Central Kings was named the Valley High School Hockey League boys’ player of the year at the annual awards banquet April 3 in Auburn.

Voting for the VHSHL player of the year takes into account not only on-ice performance but also academics and contributions to the school and community.

Shepherd, a Grade 12 student-athlete, was described in his citation for the John MacAskill Player of the Year Award as “an athlete, a scholar and an outstanding example of a good citizen.”

In Grade 11, he received the Lieutenant Governor’s Award and was “the overwhelming choice” for that award.

He is a leader in the school as a member of the student government executive and other school committees, including Safe Grad. He was involved in the anti-bullying Pink Shirt Day as well as attending We Day celebrations in Halifax.

Shepherd has a lengthy list of academic awards and volunteer activities to his credit. He is also a member of the CK concert and jazz bands, was a captain of the football team for three years and has been twice a provincial champion in pole vault.

In terms of the Gators’ hockey team, Shepherd served as an assistant captain and was “a leader to his teammates on and off the ice.”

The VHSHL boys’ division expanded to 10 teams this year with the addition of Forest Heights and the return of Bridgetown after a few years’ absence.

Forest Heights celebrated their arrival in the league by going a perfect 18-0 in the to win the regular season title before losing 5-3 to Park View in the playoff finals.

Forest Heights did go on to capture the NSSAF D-3 provincial banner. NKEC hosted D-2 provincials and Digby was also part of the field for the D-3 provincials.

Other major award winners included Mark Tye of Avon View, winner of the John MacAskill Award as coach of the year.

Ben Best received the John Prall Award as the league’s top goalie. Brett Wallace and Trevor House, both of Avon View, shared the leading scorer award.

The Corey Chapman Memorial Award for the top defenceman went to Mark Jollimore of Forest Heights.

The trophy for the league’s top D-1 team went to Park View, the top D-2 team was NKEC and the top D-3 team was Forest Heights.

Park View was presented the trophy for the overall league champion, and Bridgetown won the trophy as the least penalized team.

The Art Lightfoot Memorial Trophy, for service to the league and dedication to the game of hockey and its ideals, was presented to long-time Horton coach Greg Byrne.

Team awards included:

Avon View – coach’s awards: Alex Williams, Brett Wallace.

Bridgetown – MVP: Tristan Bowlby; coach’s award: Kellen Saunders.

Central Kings – MVP: Connor Gough; coach’s award: Riley Guest.

Digby – MVP: Noah Thomas; coach’s award: Myles Creighton.

Forest Heights – MVP: Connor Nauss; coach’s award: Chris Dodson.

Horton – coach’s awards: Ben Hewins, Cam Davidson.

Middleton – MVP: Emerson Coulter; coach’s award: Ryan Thibeault.

NKEC – MVPs: Dylan Troop, Tanner Ward.

Park View – coach’s awards: Connor MacQuarrie, Joe Harris.

West Kings – coach’s awards: Tyler Rafuse, Connor Morse.

Organizations: Jacob Shepherd Valley High School Hockey League, Valley High School, Brett Wallace and Trevor House

Geographic location: Forest Heights, Park View, Bridgetown Auburn Avon View Halifax

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